A N A C T
RELATING TO CRIMINALS -- CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS -- PAROLE
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 13-8 of the General Laws entitled "Parole" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
13-8-3.1. Subpoena powers of board. --Upon a specific demand made by either party to a preliminary or final parole revocation, the parole board is hereby authorized and empowered to summon witnesses and to compel the production and examination of papers, books, accounts, documents, records, certificates and other legal evidence that may be necessary or proper for the determination and decision of any question before the board at such a hearing. Both parties to a preliminary or final parole revocation hearing shall be informed of the right to compulsory process sufficiently in advance of the hearing to allow the parole board to effectuate that right in accordance with this section. Nothing in this statute shall be deemed to modify or supercede existing or common law privilege, including the confidential informant privilege. All subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum shall be signed by the chairperson or, in the absence or disqualification of the chairperson, by any other member of the parole board, and shall be served as subpoenas are now served in civil cases in the superior court; and witnesses so subpoenaed shall be entitled to the same fees for attendance and travel as are now provided for witnesses in civil cases in the superior court. If any person fails to obey the command of any such subpoena without reasonable cause, or if a person in attendance before such board shall, without reasonable cause, refuse to be sworn, or to be examined, or to answer a legal and pertinent question, the board may apply to any justice of the superior court, upon proof by affidavit of the fact, for a rule or order, returnable in not less than two (2) or more than five (5) days, directing such person to show cause why he should not be adjudged in contempt. Upon the return of such order, the justice before whom the matter is brought for a hearing shall examine under oath such person and such person shall be given an opportunity to be heard, and if the justice shall determine that such person has refused without reasonable cause or legal excuse to be examined, or to answer a legal and pertinent question, or to produce books, accounts, papers, records and documents, material to the issue, which he was ordered to bring or produce, he may forthwith commit such person to the adult correctional institutions, there to remain until he submits to do the act which he was so required to do, or is discharged according to law. If an application of contempt pursuant to this section relates to the actions of a witness at a public hearing, then the papers filed with and proceedings before the court shall be open to the public; otherwise, such papers and proceedings shall be confidential.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.